We’ve underestimated life expectancy, study warns

1st May 2015


Life expectancy is increasing faster than first thought leaving savers facing a dilemma about how to fund longer retirement.


A new study by Imperial College London calculations on longevity show life expectancy is expected to overshoot the official projections 2030. The authors of the report believe women will live to an average of 87.6 years and men to 85.7 year if they are living in England and Wales.


This is longer than the projections from the Office of National Statistics that puts women’s life expectancy at a year less and 2.4 years less for men.


Professor Majid Ezzati, who led the study, said the there were pension implications for longer lives, as well as health and social concerns.


‘The bigger gains in life expectancy we predict will mean pensions will have larger payouts, and health and social services will have to serve an older population than currently planned,’ he said.


He added that increasing lifespan would mean greater inequality because those in affluent areas would live longer than those who live in disadvantaged areas.


‘This means wealthy people will benefit more from health and social services than poor people, and therefore should be prepared to pays its cost through higher taxes,’ said Ezzati.


‘The NHS plays a very important role in reducing health inequality in the UK. It’s vital that it receives the investment needed to continue providing high quality care to all citizens as the population lives longer.’


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